The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, July 28, approved an allocation of the County’s CARES Act funding for the County of Humboldt’s Small Business Restart & Recovery Grant Program. This program will provide direct aid to the business community in the form of micro-grants made to small and locally owned and operated businesses who have suffered a financial hardship as a result of COVID-19.
The CAO’s office of Economic Development is preparing a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) and an application process which is anticipated to be released to the general public next week. The Program Summary which includes eligibility criteria and other program details is included below. For questions, please contact the County of Humboldt Economic Development team via email at email@example.com or at 707-445-7745.
County of Humboldt Small Business Restart & Recovery Grant Program
Purpose: The County of Humboldt Small Business Restart & Recovery Grant Program will provide direct aid to the business community in the form of micro-grants made to small and locally owned and operated businesses who have suffered a financial hardship as a result of COVID-19.
Program year: FY20-21
Governance: Program shall follow the Treasury’s Coronavirus Relief Fund Guidance for State, Territorial, Local, and Tribal Governments.
Estimated Program Funding: $3,288,650
Grant Amount: Businesses who meet the eligibility criteria may apply for reimbursement not to exceed $500 for expenses incurred in relation to drafting/submitting their business reopening plan(s) and may also apply for up to $12,000 (cap per entity) to assist with COVID-19 related expenses as outlined below.
Program Reach: Estimated number of businesses to be served by this program: 2,500 to 2,650.
Program Management & Administration: Program will be administered by staff from the CAO’s office of Economic Development under the supervision of the Economic Development Division Director.
Eligibility: Grant recipients must be a for-profit business whose business was or has closed, or whose operations were or are adversely impacted as a result of COVID-19 (or as a result of complying Public Health orders), and who also meets all of the following criteria…
- Business location or operations must be based within the geographical boundaries of Humboldt County.
- Business is an independently owned local business owned by one or more Humboldt County residents.
- Business has no more than 99 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions and has at least one full-time equivalent (FTE) employee; a business owner working full time would meet this qualification.
- Business was open and actively operating as of March 20, 2020.
- Must be registered with the California Secretary of State and be in good standing.
- Business remains in compliance with Public Health Orders and has submitted their business re-opening plan to the County.
Use of Funding:
- Procurement and/or care of personal protective equipment PPE for employees and/or customers.
- Rental assistance for those periods during which a business may have been closed or whose operation was dramatically limited while closures on businesses and Shelter In Place orders were in effect.
- Expenses related to eviction prevention and landlord/tenant mediation.
- Funding for improvements, equipment, or operational changes for complying with quarantining and social distancing orders.
- Cleaning supplies and/or professional disinfection services to meet CDC guidance for COVID-19 viral mitigation and prevention.
- Wages for the hiring and/or training of staff tied directly to COVID-19 preparedness, mitigation, and response.
- Other measurable and verifiable expenditures directly related to operational hardships resulting from COVID-19 and/or for hardships incurred for a business to comply with orders from the Public Health Officer.
Grant Distribution: Once staff releases the notice of funding availability (NOFA) applicants will be given 60 days to apply. Funding shall be made available on a first-come-first-served basis. Grant funding will be administered vis-à-vis expense reimbursement and applicants will be required to submit verifiable supporting documentation prior to a release of grant funding can be made.
Program Sunset: Program shall terminate December 30, 2020, or after funding has been exhausted, whichever occurs first. Within 90 days of the conclusion of the program, staff shall tender a final program report/accounting to the County Board of Supervisors. The program may be extended at the Boards discretion if additional program funding is secured.